Can We Build A Better Understanding Of Africa?

Watch this talk on TED.com.

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"We talk about African governments like they've been dropped from Mars, you know? They come from us." — Ory Okolloh i i

"We talk about African governments like they've been dropped from Mars, you know? They come from us." — Ory Okolloh Andrew Heavens/TED hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Heavens/TED
"We talk about African governments like they've been dropped from Mars, you know? They come from us." — Ory Okolloh

"We talk about African governments like they've been dropped from Mars, you know? They come from us." — Ory Okolloh

Andrew Heavens/TED

Part 1 of TED Radio Hour episode Africa: The Next Chapter. You can watch the three TED Talks featured in this segment — Ory Okolloh On Becoming An Activist, Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger Of A Single Story and Eleni Gabre-Madhin On Ethiopian Economics — on TED.com.

TED team member Emeka Okafor guides us through three TEDTalks on some evolving views (and misconceptions) of the African continent — from outside and in.

About Ory Okolloh's Talk

In her talk, On Becoming An Activist, Ory Okolloh tells the story of her life and her family — and how she came to do her heroic work reporting on the doings of Kenya's parliament.

"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story." — Chimamanda Adichie i i

"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story." — Chimamanda Adichie Andrew Heavens/TED hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Heavens/TED
"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story." — Chimamanda Adichie

"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story." — Chimamanda Adichie

Andrew Heavens/TED

About Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh is a blogger and open-government activist. She runs Mzalendo, a pioneering civic website that tracks the performance of Kenya's parliament and its parliamentarians. Okolloh is part of a wave of young Africans who are using the power of blogging, SMS and Web-enabled openness to push their countries forward and help Africans to connect.

About Chimamanda Adichie's Talk

In her talk, The Danger Of A Single Story, novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

"African agriculture today is among, or is, the most under-capitalized in the world. Only 7 percent of arable land in Africa is irrigated, compared to 40 percent in Asia." — Eleni Gabre-Madhin i i

"African agriculture today is among, or is, the most under-capitalized in the world. Only 7 percent of arable land in Africa is irrigated, compared to 40 percent in Asia." — Eleni Gabre-Madhin Andrew Heavens/TED hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Heavens/TED
"African agriculture today is among, or is, the most under-capitalized in the world. Only 7 percent of arable land in Africa is irrigated, compared to 40 percent in Asia." — Eleni Gabre-Madhin

"African agriculture today is among, or is, the most under-capitalized in the world. Only 7 percent of arable land in Africa is irrigated, compared to 40 percent in Asia." — Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Andrew Heavens/TED

About Chimamanda Adichie

In Nigeria, Chimamanda Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun has helped inspire new, cross-generational communication about the Biafran War. In this and in her other works, she seeks to instill dignity into the finest details of each character, whether poor, middle-class or rich, exposing the deep scars of colonialism in the African landscape along the way.

About Eleni Gabre-Madhin's Talk

In her talk, On Ethiopian Economics, economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin outlines her ambitious vision to found the first commodities market in Ethiopia. Her plan would create wealth, minimize risk for farmers, and turn the world's largest recipient of food aid into a regional food basket.

"We had to unveil an Africa that wasn't that well known to ... a number of audiences." — Emeka Okafor i i

"We had to unveil an Africa that wasn't that well known to ... a number of audiences." — Emeka Okafor Andrew Heavens/TED hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Heavens/TED
"We had to unveil an Africa that wasn't that well known to ... a number of audiences." — Emeka Okafor

"We had to unveil an Africa that wasn't that well known to ... a number of audiences." — Emeka Okafor

Andrew Heavens/TED

About Eleni Gabre-Madhin

Economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin has ambitious vision — to found the first commodities market in Ethiopia, bringing rates and standards to the trade of crops. The director of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Madhin studies market reforms, market institutions and structural transformation in Africa.

About TED Team Member Emeka Okafor

Emeka Okafor is an entrepreneur and venture catalyst who lives in New York City. He is the curator of Maker Faire Africa. He was the director for TED Global 2007 that took place in Arusha,Tanzania, and is a member of the TED fellowship team. His interests include sustainable technologies in the developing world and paradigm-breaking technologies in general. His blog, Timbuktu Chronicles, seeks to spur dialogue in areas of entrepreneurship, technology and the scientific method as it impacts Africa.

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